Congo agreed to pay Gertler’s company $250m in resources deal

Gertler, originally a diamond trader, amassed his fortune mostly by buying mining assets from the DRC at greatly discounted prices, and selling them at great profit. (Image: Screenshot from Bosolo Na Politik Officielle | YouTube.)

Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday published a dispute settlement deal agreed in February with Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman under US sanctions, showing the central African country agreed to pay his company $250 million.

Congo’s presidency in February announced an out-of-court agreement with Gertler’s Ventora Development to end a dispute over valuable mining and oil contracts. Under the deal, Ventora agreed to give control of the assets back to the state.

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Gertler and more than 30 of his businesses in December 2017 and June 2018, accusing him of leveraging his friendship with former Congo President Joseph Kabila to secure lucrative mining deals.

Gertler has denied any wrongdoing. A spokesperson for Gertler did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the deal.

The agreement, copies of which were handed out to reporters at a press conference in Kinshasa, shows Congo agreed to pay Ventora 240.7 million euros ($251.6 million) to settle “debts owed to Ventora.” Ventora agreed to pay 57 million euros to Congo’s state mining company Gecamines to settle royalties owed to it.

“Dan Gertler has agreed to return the assets, he has also agreed to end his activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we think there is no better positive outcome,” Congo Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi told reporters.

($1 = 0.9568 euros)

(By Paul Lorgerie and Sonia Rolley; Editing by Helen Reid, Uttaresh.V and Mark Potter)

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